FSD3708 Follow-up on Municipal Elections 2021

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  • Borg, Sami (Tampere University)
  • Nurmela, Sakari (Kantar TNS Finland)
  • Pehkonen, Juhani (Kantar TNS Finland)


electoral campaigns, electoral candidates, local government elections, political attitudes, political behaviour, political interest, political parties, voting, voting advice applications, voting behaviour


The survey studied voting behaviour in the 2021 municipal elections in Finland. The data were collected just after the elections.

First, a number of questions charted the respondents' use of and attitude towards candidate selectors / voting advice applications. The respondents were also asked whether they had followed election reporting, campaigning and advertising in different media (including the social media such as Facebook). The role of various factors (e.g. consolidation of municipalities, immigration, employment, taxation) in the respondents' decision to vote or not and their choices in the municipal elections was also examined.

Voting behaviour was investigated by asking whether the respondents had voted in the county elections just held and which party they had voted for. Information sources used for the voting choice were studied. Those who had voted were asked why they voted, which factors and issues had influenced their candidate choice, and at which stage they had made their final choice. Those who had not voted were asked at which stage they had made the decision to not vote and which factors (e.g. 'I had trouble finding a suitable party to vote for”, 'I did not have enough information about topics that are important for me in order to make a decision”) had contributed to that decision.

Next, the respondents' trust in different decision-makers (national decision-makers, decision-makers in the European Union, decision-makers in the respondent's municipality) were surveyed. One question focused on the performance of party leaders during the campaign. The respondents were asked whether they had voted in the 2019 parliamentary elections and which party/group the candidate they had voted for was from. Views on the municipal elections and election campaigns were charted with a series of attitudinal statements (e.g. 'The parties did not raise interesting, emotive political issues”, 'It is good that there are people who dare to speak out during elections, even if it offends many people”). Opinions on the preparation of laws in Finland and having multiple municipalities of residence were investigated. The respondents were also asked how shameful or embarrassing they considered various things (e.g. air travel, regularly maxing out one's credit card, appearing drunk in public). Finally, the respondents were asked whether municipalities should take on new duties to replace the duties that are removed as part of the social welfare and healthcare reform and the regional government reform or whether municipalities should improve the efficiency of their operations to match the remaining number of duties. The desirability of several duties (e.g. supporting civic organisations, promoting employment) that municipalities could take on was examined.

Background variables included the respondent's gender, age, statistical grouping of municipalities, membership in a federation of trade unions, highest education level, household's annual gross income, and economic activity and occupational status.

Study description in machine readable DDI-C 2.5 format

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